Torch and Toro find their way into the secret hidden Nazi headquarters of New Berlin — and run into the Thinker. With the imminent breakdown of the Horton cells — and the certain fatality that would bring — weighing heavy upon them, Torch and Toro soon discover that New Berlin is more than it appears, from the android populace to the anti-pyrotic air that disables the duo’s ability to flame up.
To make matters worse, Dr. Fell and the Mad Thinker have perfected Fell’s “Inhuman Torch” — a monstrous being that exists solely to burn and cause destruction. In typical comic-book fashion, once the hurdle of stabilizing the Inhuman Torch is cleared, Fell betrays the Thinker, and then, as only happens in comics, imprisons the vile fiend with his heretofore enemies, giving Toro and Torch an unexpected ally to facilitate their escape.
This issue plods along. The story is simple enough; the betrayals and forging of new alliances is nearly predictable. On top of this, the attempted cliffhanger ending doesn’t seem to be sincere, and I’m not sure if that’s due to my disinterest in the characters or the lack of a threat worthy of a cliffhanger.
The art is serviceable, keenly detailed and richly colored, but not overly exciting. Berkenkotter and Tan provide a nice array of physiques for the characters in this title as the androids are near perfect anatomically, while Mad Thinker and Dr. Fell range towards opposite ends of the body type spectrum.
I’ve been bouncing in and out of this title, and never really felt invested in it. This issue doesn’t do much to grab my attention, as it seems the story is coming together a little too smoothly, almost to the point of being a collection of comic book cliches without the characterization to hold my interest. Hopefully the final issue is where all the surprises and gasp-worthy moments are.